Catalonia is EU’s top region in video game sector investment
Shall we refer to that Iberian region as “Video Game Valley” from now on?
Catalonia ranks as the first region of the European Union in attracting foreign investment in the video games sector, according to a study by ACCIÓ – the public regional business competitiveness agency. The news was announced by the President of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, during a work meeting with representatives from the sector.
Catalonia has attracted 12.2% of the foreign investment destined for the entire European Union in the 2017-2021 period. It, thus, ranks ahead of the Amsterdam region (Netherlands), Ireland, Sweden and the Bordeaux and Paris regions of France. That also explains the support and interest shown by government officials at the highest level.
40% of the world’s video game companies have a presence there
According to the data collected by ACCIÓ from the fDi Markets database, in the last five years, Catalonia has received 20 new foreign investment projects from international video game studios, which have meant an investment close to 120 million of euros and the creation of almost 900 jobs. The main investing countries in this period (2017-2021) have been the United States, France, Sweden and South Korea.
In fact, the Spanish autonomous region now hosts branches of 40% of the world’s video game producers! The report indicates the presence of companies such as the French Ubisoft, the American Scopely, the South Korean Smilegate, the British King and the Japanese Bandai Namco. The report also highlights the acquisition of the Barcelona firm Digital Legends by Activision Blizzard, which was subsequently bought by Microsoft, or that of Social Point by Take-Two.
Catalonia has 56 startups linked to this sector, a dozen universities with specialized training and 7 technological centres with R&D projects in this area, as well as associations, incubators and top-level events such as DeviCAT, Game BCN or Integrated Systems Europe (ISE).
For the Generalitat de Catalunya (the regional government), the video games sector is a key area for the impetus it provides in terms of disruption and innovation, for the international positioning it projects from Catalonia to the world and for the technological connection with other sectors.
The trends indicate that much of the growth of this sector in the coming years will focus on new technologies that already play a significant role, such as the metaverse, virtual and augmented reality, serious games or eSports, among others.